Dennis Herrmann squints his eyes and peers hard at the goal keeper, who just looks back with a blank expression. Herrmann takes a run-up and bashes the ball unstoppable in the top left corner. The goal keeper doesn’t get worked up at all, but just continues staring into the void. „Robo Keeper“ doesn’t know any feelings. He is just a moving cardboard figure who, because of the modern sensors, exactly knows where a ball is approaching. Therefore everyone failed to overcome the robot three times in a row at the grounds of the SC Opel 06 Rüsselsheim on Saturday afternoon. Hermann has just set the record of the day with two goals. The goal keeper from the SC Opel A-Youth team has outwitted the collegue: „You have to hit the higher corners. That’s were the goalie can’t reach.“
On the other sport grounds aside robots are forbidden: At the in-house Football-Championship only true Opelaners are allowed to play. And they usually consist of flesh and blood. 47 teams with each ten players participate, they hope to qualify for the Opel/Vauxhall World Cup 2014 tournament in the final game on Sunday. But team names, like „Jogi’s hope“ or „No comment“ let one guess that this event is anything else but serious. Stocky Men are playing against apprentices, tediously rounded up teams take on full-blood soccer players. In order that no one overdoes himself, the games run over 13 minutes and then there are long breaks. Enough time to enjoy the fabulous weather with the whole scenario: There is tempting cold beer and steaks, kids makeover, remotely controlled Mini-Opel cars, and a bouncy castle. The „Propeller AG” and the learning workshop, which also created the winner’s cup, have set up info-stalls as well. And the whole weekend over, there is the opportunity for spontaneous test rides in pretty much all the latest cars with the flash sign.
„Who isn’t playing football, is test-riding“
This is also, what the two sisters Line and Jasmin Riemer are taking advantage of, they are about to get out from a bright red Adam. Line’s conclusion: “A great car, but maybe I am a bit too tall for it”, says the 24-year-old. “The Insignia would be more suitable for me”, she says and points at a OPC model in blue. The limousine is very popular like every OPC version, since today is a special opportunity to get to such a unique, hot car: Much more than a driving licence isn’t needed and in the next minute you’re holding the car keys in your hand. “Who isn’t playing football, is test-riding”, says Andy Diewock from the Messe-Team. “Some have even tried the entire range, they spent their afternoon here”, he tells us amused. Especially the sporty range of models came back “slightly warm”.
Former champion has the idea to reanimate the tournament
Meanwhile organizer Kamal Belkini is hurrying towards the beer tent – which isn’t easy for him, because his right knee is in pain since the last match. “I have already had two cruciate ligament injuries, which makes me fragile.” The passionate soccer player used to play for FC Eschborn in the regional league and even won the working cup seven years ago with his team.
In good memories of the institution, last September Belkini suggested to reanimate the last competition from 2007 – and got many of his colleagues motivated. Congruously, the FIFA World Cup is also coming up soon and moreover, Opel is sponsoring several different club teams Europe-wide.
Since Friday Belkini and about 25 other helpers have been preparing the spectacle. SC Opel provides 70 helpers and 15 referees and also takes care of the catering next to the sports ground and the beer tent, where the Champions-League-Final will be broadcasted on Saturday night.
Even “Chaoten-Team” can kick it
On the soccer field aside Jörg Osberger, huffing and puffing, wants to be replaced. The staff member of the Test Center Dudenhofen has given his best in the match, which will decide wether or not his team will be qualified for the K.-o.-round on Sunday. Now it’s about everything or nothing – they are 0:1 behind against “Chaoten-Team”. “Get in, Get in!”, Osberger cheers for his colleagues from the sideline. It shows an effect: The Dudenhofen team is pushing and surrounding the opponents goal. One shots from ten meters, a defender-leg deflects the ball, it rolls to the left corner – the equalizer. But a few seconds later they hear the final whistle. Only draw. Nonetheless, Osberger and his colleagues reach the next round, because the “Chaoten-Team” do credits to their name and refuse – despite qualification – their participation for Sunday. Their justification: no time.
Also boss team gives the very best
The boss team “Headliners Rüsselsheim” is about to focus on the next round: The management board members Johan Willems (Communication), Michael Lohscheller (Finance) and Peter Thom (Manufacturing) and their teammates face “FEW United” . “Keep on pushing!” – the substitutes of the internationally established opponent support their fellow players from the sidelines. At the end it works: Just seconds before the final whistle “FEW United” score the decisive goal. Head of Communication Johan Willems takes it easy: “The games are at a very high level. The prospect of the qualification for the finals was a strong incentive to make the most of it.” Willems’ shoulder hurts from falling on an opponent, but he’s glad to be here today. “It’s a great event – on and beyond the playing field.“
After many shots hitting woodwork, backheels, and abrasions “Die Legenden”, a team of colleagues from the plant security and service shop, play in the final against the “Shadow Fighters” – and win the craved trophy; the team “RUE” ends up in third place. The course for a possible title defense mission has already been set: The trophy is developed as a challenge cup.
- During the in-plant Soccer Championship in Rüsselsheim 47 teams (ten players each) competed for he final round of the Opel/Vauxhall World Cup 2014.
- „Die Legenden“ won the final against the „Shadow Fighters“. Team „RUE“ reached the third place.
- From Friday to Monday the tournament was supported by 70 members of SC Opel 06 and 25 helpers of „Jump Start“.
- The teams played on four fields at the same time – under the watchful eyes of a total of 15 referees from SC Opel 06.
- The event was the first German Opel soccer championship since 2007.
- The winner’s trophy is a challenge cup, which the training workshop has produced for the tournament.
- In addition to beer and sausages, coffee and cakes there was a lots of to experience off the field: test drives with a wide range of Opel cars, a racetrack with remote-controlled cars, competitions, a sensor-controlled goalkeeper, the live broadcast of the Champions League final and much more.